Hedgerow and Barn

Did a painting over the Easter holidays, inspired by life at the barn where we were a year ago.  I am also fascinated by hedgerow life and conservation.  I used acrylics for this piece on stretched canvas.  To make the marks, I didn’t use any brushes but potatos cut up to stamp the paint with, as well as cotton buds, cotton wool balls, sticks, pieces of wood and cardboard, even tin foil.  I was pleased with the final result and it has received a lot of compliments on Facebook.

IMG_2204

‘Hedgerow and Barn’

Acrylics on stretched canvas.  Ready to hang – does not need a frame.

22″ x 18″ x 3/4″  or 56cm x 45.5cm x 2cm

Pictures below to show detail and reverse. IMG_2205IMG_2206IMG_2208IMG_2209IMG_2210

‘Monkey’s wedding’ …

Hey, I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas have a joyous one, filled with everything you need – like happiness, love, family and good friends.

Christmas is not about the gifts, or the tree or the baubles and garish lights festooning so many houses at this time of year but you wouldn’t think otherwise if you visited this planet from somewhere else.    As an extra-terrestrial, I wonder if you’d find it all a bit strange when you look around, peer into the crack and see all those many lost people?   The people who don’t have anyone to spend the holidays with, the people who are lonely or just alone in a crowd, the people who don’t have any food or place to live and there are many homeless people in this country and all over the world – what a sin that is!  In this so-called age of enlightenment, that there are still so many people who have nowhere to live, no prospects, no food, relying on hand outs and hand-me-downs just to keep body and soul together.  I wonder if your extra-terrestrial self would stop and think about that while you imbibe the ‘Christmas cheer’ and tuck into the turkey.

I’m not preaching, I’m as guilty as the next when it comes to over-indulging – both in the food and drink and the gift buying.  I just hope that the people in my family who have had a right crap year, manage to glean happiness and warmth over this holiday season – we’ll be seeing one of them on Boxing Day.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

I hope 2019 is a great year for you all.

IMG_1788

‘Monkey’s Wedding’

A4.  Water-soluble oil pastels on Bockingford watercolour paper.

Original Water-soluble Oil Pastels Paintings

Some work I’ve been concentrating on this month – all done on Bockingford paper with Caran D’Ache water soluble oil pastels.   Most are either A3 in size or A4:

IMG_1776

Abstract Field 1

A4 – landscape

IMG_1777

Abstract trees and foreground

A4

IMG_1778

Abstract trees and foreground 2

A4

IMG_1779

Abstract sky

A4 landscape

IMG_1780

Variation on a theme

A4 landscape

IMG_1783

Looking out from Glenfinnan monument

A3 – portrait view

IMG_1784

Abstract forest with black foreground

A3 – landscape

New work (not for sale)

Something different (for me, at any rate).   Got a bit tired of one of my larger canvasses last week, so decided to jazz it up somewhat.  I don’t do this ‘pointilist’ type of work normally, so it was something strange to begin with but after a while I enjoyed the freedom.

IMG_1770

‘What do you see?’

Acrylics on pre-textured stretched canvas.

120cm x 100cm x 4cm

 

Close up:

IMG_1771

 

I have been working with water-soluble oil pastels most of the rest of the time and hope to have something half-way decent to post up here soon!

Water-soluble Oil Pastels

I got me some Caran D’Ache ws oil pastels the other day and some really wonderful Bockingford Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper – A3 size – I took 20 sheets. What a difference good ground paper makes!  It is really sturdy and quite stiff but takes a lot of manhandling with liquid and paint.  I have been wanting to get stuck into water soluble oil pastels for a while now and decided on the Swiss made ones as they do seem to be at the top of everyone’s recommendation lists.  And they are fantastic!  Deeply pigmented, wonderful to work with both off the paper (i.e. mixing as on a palette) and on the paper.  I have tried some layering in this picture, which was basically to test the vibrancy of the colours.  I intend to do a series of paintings using this Bockingford paper of impressions of the Scottish HIghlands … so who knows hey?   Anyhow, this is the result of today’s faffing about …

 

DSCN6397

‘Boadicca’s tree’

Water-soluble Oil Pastels (Caran D’Ache) on A3 Bockingford Hot pressed 300gms watercolour paper. 

Close ups of detail

DSCN6398DSCN6399DSCN6400

 

New this week – ‘Gold’

We are settling into our new home and I’m beginning to find more space and time to paint.  This week I completed two pieces, this is the first to get up on a wall:

IMG_1744

Image cropped :

IMG_1744

“Gold”

Acrylics, sand texture, gels and inks on stretched canvas.

Size:  70cm x 60cm x 2cm (approx)  or 27½” x  23½” x 1″

 

Some new work

Well, we have at last settled into our new house.   My painting space is very limited but I’m managing to scrape a hole big enough for myself and the paints … the large one below [abstract seascape) was painted mostly outdoors, great fun that was in 32 degrees C, trying to keep the acrylics wet!

The others were kinda commissions – Bay scene (Devon) was requested by the lady of our house and is now enconced in our seascape themed downstairs bathroom.  Photo is crap, ‘cos there’s not enough room to stand back and get it in the camera frame properly.  Never mind.  The poppies was requested by a friend of mine, hope she likes it.

 

IMG_1724

‘Seascape with sand texture’

Acrylics, inks and texture paste (sand) on stretched canvas.

120cm x 100cm x 4cm

 

IMG_1725

‘Bay- Devon’

Acrylics and inks on stretched canvas 100cm x 39cm

 

IMG_1726

‘Poppies and wheat’

Acrylics and inks, gel pastes, structure pastes on stretched canvas.  45cm x 35cm

View below is minus the reflection.

IMG_1728

New mixed media

There are many things influencing my outlook on life at the moment – some very positive (like moving to our own house very soon – yay, no more renting!) and others not quite as positive (like waiting to find out if we will be able to permanently care for my baby granddaughter – we will only know the answer to that one at end of July).   My youngest son is also now seriously making plans to move over to the UK to be with us all – so that thought is very much at top of mind all the time and I was thinking about that a lot when I started painting this abstract.   It was great to get back to canvas and something larger than the work I’ve been doing lately.

I used a lot of layers in this work, using inks mixed with structure gel and acrylics mixed with gloss gels and other medium.  It was a cathartic experience,  no matter what happens in life, family are the most important – at least they are to me.  And sometimes family comprise people who are not your blood relatives.  I hold them all close to my heart, they give me light …

 

IMG_1553 (1024x878)

‘DIVE’

Acrylics, inks, gels, structure gel on stretched canvas.

69cm x 59cm or  27″ x 23″

View of the work on one of my easels:

IMG_1550

Texture close ups  (lots of texture!):

This work is available to purchase.

New mixed media

Quite some time ago I started working on a series of paintings relating to the South African landscape, for some reason I didn’t finish that work.  I decided to go back to one of them over the weekend and this is the result, might still do a bit more tweaking (as always!).  This area holds a very special place in my heart (and psyche).  It is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, glorious in any weather.  This is a view of the ampitheatre from the river below. (My own reference photos)

Drakensberg

For this one I used acrylic inks, soft pastels, then oil pastels on mixed media paper.  Paper size is 16.5″ x 11.5″ (A3), painting takes up all surface of the paper.

 

Commission – completed

The brief I was given from my client was to paint her a picture of her field, which lies behind her offices and home in a rural area of South Norfolk.  She wanted a representation of the field in winter and depending on how that went, would probably ask me to do another painting of the field in summer.   The field or meadow doesn’t have any major features in it, other than a small coppice of trees and a separate area for her rescued chickens.   I knew that she didn’t want me to include the chickens in the finished painting, so I couldn’t mess about with that idea, which was actually what I wanted to do!  Chickens make excellent subjects for paintings!

I did have a few issues with the process of painting the required picture and had several different ideas of how to approach it.  So, I decided to present her with three versions last Friday and let her decide which one or ones she wanted to keep.

The first one is a realism approach taken from a photograph.  I wanted to capture the wintery light and bare branches, the grass was still quite luminous and deeply green.  This is on stretched canvas – 19″ x 16″.  Acrylics over inks.

 

Trees R 1

The second painting was more like the kind of style I enjoy doing, especially when it comes to depictions of trees.  Also on stretched canvas, same size (19″ x 16″) but portrait style.   I used an acrylic ink underpainting, topping it off with oil pastels and oil paints.

 

IMG_1435

The third painting was totally abstract and processed using gels, inks and acrylic paint on an artist canvas board.  This is about twice the size of the stretched canvas paintings.  I forgot to take a photo with my Canon before I took them to the client, and only have this mobile phone photo.

ABstract field

My client was so thrilled with all the paintings that she’s decided she wants all of them!  She is going to get them professionaly framed and then I will return to her home and take photos of these paintings in frames.  I am overjoyed that she really liked all the work, her husband especially liked the middle painting.  She has also decided to feature the paintings in prominent areas of her home – originally she was only going to place the paintings against a wall in one of the corridors leading into her house.